US urges Pakistan to continue Afghan talk efforts

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WASHINGTON: Despite a change in the Taliban leadership, the United States wants Pakistan to continue its efforts for promoting talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government, says the US State Department.

“We think the time is right for these reconciliation talks to move forward, and there’s an opportunity here,” the department’s deputy spokesperson Mark Toner told journalists in Washington.

Pakistan was forced to postpone the second round of the Afghan reconciliation talks, which were to begin in Murree on Friday, after Kabul announced earlier this week that Taliban chief Mullah Omar was dead.

Asked if the US would have preferred the Pakistanis not to postpone the talks, Mr Toner said: “We think they should go forward.”